NFC smartphone payments get ready for round 2: Isis about to go national
It seems like every time we talk about Google Wallet, and why the service isn’t seeing anywhere near the usage it should, the subject inevitably comes around to the business interests that have been doing their absolute darnedest to suppress Google’s efforts and keep Wallet away from as many users as possible. Often, that story’s revolved around the carrier-and-financial-institution-led Isis system, their own Google Wallet alternative. Isis has been in limited testing in the US, with plans to go for a broader national push before the end of the year. That finally looks like it’s about to happen, with word that Isis is going nationwide in just a few weeks.
With AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile all on board the Isis train, expect phones on these carriers become the first to support the service. It all sounds like it’s going to work much in the same vein as Google Wallet, with users tying existing credit cards and loyalty cards to the app. Isis, though, will have the benefit of these carriers not going out of their way to block said app.
Isis will be primarily Android-based, but there’s word of support for NFC-capable iPhone cases. BlackBerry and Windows Phone will have to wait.
While we’re always interested to see new uses for our phones, Isis may have a tough road ahead of it; despite the support from carriers, and a few banks, not all credit card companies seem to love the idea of it, and a recent demo event at the Money2020 expo in Las Vegas failed to impress, hitting technical glitches.